A crossplatform Houdini project management and pipeline tool for smaller teams, students, and classrooms.


Pyrsomes are actually colonies of small jellyfish creating a whole. I thought that was a fun way to think about group creative projects. In a way this tool helps multiple people be part of a whole, and because it’s houdini, life, mathematics and growth are common insterests of houdini artists.

Houdini Pipeline Tool

This was developed for my needs during my senior project using Houdini with a small team. I needed to ensure the project enviornment was the same accross computers and platforms. Additionally I needed a way to run the tool on it’s own without needing to configure each computers python enviornment.


  • Refactor main file into a library to clean up code
  • Build standalone app for each platform
  • add support for choosing houdini versions – currently 18.5.759 is hardcoded in for my project
  • refactor to properly serialize data with yaml and only use env files for enviornments

Future goals

  • add support for game projects with unity and unreal and possibly godot
  • possible branch project name pyrasoma?
  • possibly rewrite in rust
  • add support for houdini package management
  • refactor data to json
  • add data manager to edit json defaults
  • use yaml for configuration

How to use the tool

  1. Run it as a python script from the cloned repo.
  2. Integrate it into you’re system on UNIX systems.
  3. Use the compiled versions and rus as an executable.

There are command line arguments

usage: [-h] [-pn PATH_PROJECT] [-un [GUI_PROJECT]] [-cn [CURRENT_DIR_PROJECT]] [-pl [LIST_PROJECTS]] [-rs [RESCAN_DIRS]]
               [-cp [CLEAR_CACHE]] [-i [INIT]] [-I [INIT_ONLY]] [-l [LOAD_LAST]] [-? [INFO]]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -pn PATH_PROJECT, --path-project PATH_PROJECT
                        create new project at input path
  -un [GUI_PROJECT], --gui-project [GUI_PROJECT]
                        create new project at location with gui
  -cn [CURRENT_DIR_PROJECT], --current-dir-project [CURRENT_DIR_PROJECT]
                        create new project at current path
  -pl [LIST_PROJECTS], --list-projects [LIST_PROJECTS]
                        List currently cached projects
  -rs [RESCAN_DIRS], --rescan-folders [RESCAN_DIRS]
                        rescan cached directories
  -cp [CLEAR_CACHE], --clear-project-cache [CLEAR_CACHE]
                        clear project cache
  -i [INIT], --init [INIT]
                        Forces initialization
  -I [INIT_ONLY], --init-only [INIT_ONLY]
                        Forces ONLY the initialization step
  -l [LOAD_LAST], --load-last [LOAD_LAST]
                        Load last opened file
  -? [INFO], --info [INFO]
                        Shows another help file

How it works

Default behavior

  1. Checks if there are any projects in the current directory of the script/app
  2. If there are none it creates one after asking for a name
  3. Asks user to create or open a shot
  4. sources houdini, sets enviornment variables, opens houdini

Things to note

You can customize this behavior, for example you can add directories for the tool to scan for existing projects.

It saves a list of the existing projects in a hidden temp.env file in the same directory as the script or executable.

Each project will have an env file that shouldn’t be pushed to a project repo as it will hold that users paths.


Make sure and set up a python virtual env – I used venv – using the requirements.txt


I’m no python expert and would love input, and fixes, especially in development workflows, and deployment systems and such. I’m still learning, but I hope this is useful.

Hope this helps someone else, If you have questions send me a message.


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